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Cholesterol
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Cholesterol

I am a 43 yr. old male. My overall cholesterol has always been in the 150-160 range. My most recent reading was 156 (LDL=94, HDL=44). Triglycerides 88. What is my risk level considering the relatively low HDL reading? Thank you.
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238668_tn?1232735930
A low HDL is not considered an independent risk factor until it is 35 or less.  So I would say your profile is excellent.
7 Comments
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I have a question for the forum:
Earlier this year my cholesterol test results were not too good.  Total cholesterol was 270, LDL was 174 and HDL was 56.  The chol/HDL ratio was 4.86, and triclycerides were 209.  Although these readings were too high, is my HDL level adequate in helping reduce plaque build-up in the arteries?  I am a 42 year old female.  In the last couple of years, my total chol. was always under 200 and other readings were also good.  I gained about 20 lbs this year - does total cholesterol increase more with weight gain than other readings like LDL and triclyerides?
Thankyou very much,
dah
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238668_tn?1232735930
Dear dah,

As opposed to Bob your profile is not so good.  Your total cholesterol should be less than 200 and your LDL cholesterol less than 130.  The HDL is good but not enough to not worry about the other levels.  Keep working on the diet and exercise and if your levels are not improving in 6 mo to a year your doctor may want to consider adding a cholesterol medication.
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Avatar_n_tn
A low cholestrol may reduce chances of getting a heart attack, but it increases chances of brain attack or stroke. What  should than be cholestrol for prevention of heart attack and stroke?Thank you.Bob
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238668_tn?1232735930
This is a controversial topic and no one really knows how low is too low.  There may be an increased risk of bleeding in the brain in the elderly with very low cholesterols but it is a chicken and egg question.  It may be that because they are sicker their cholesterol levels are lower and not the other way around.  

The current recommendation is for an LDL < 100 for someone with heart disease or with 2 or more risk factors for developing heart disease and LDL <130 for everyone else.
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Avatar_n_tn
What should total cholestrol and hdl be in prevention of heart attacks and strokes?I was told that if a person is on low fat diet and has low total cholestrol (130) than it would be normal to have low hdl(30) cholestrol. When would hdl be to low vs total cholestrol?By the way I just found on one of websites a doctor who says that "As a general rule, when using hdl levels to predict heart attack in people on very low-fat diets, you can add about 15 points to hdl level".If I add 15 points to my low hdl of 30, this would equal 45 and according to this doctor hdl would be normal.Is it ok for people who are on low-fat diets and have low (130) total cholestrol to add 15 points to their low (30) hdl chlestrol?Thank you.Gary
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238668_tn?1232735930
Gary- The higher the HDL the better but HDL is a part of total cholesterol (TC) and if TC is low it is hard for HDL to be that high.  Still, the American Heart Association guidelines say a HDL of <35 is an independent risk factor.  I don't know about adding points to HDL if one is following a low-fat diet or what the data is that this doctor is basing this on.  As far as treatment of low HDL this will be based on your doctors recomendation and your overall total risk.
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A related discussion, time for a statin??? was started.
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